Property security is an area where many landlords and property managers are woefully lax. At best, they’ll keep up with their strictly defined obligations. More often, they let violations slip past without ever realizing the potential disaster lurking. Here are just three of the benefits of a proactive approach to security.
1. Minimize liability
The most straightforward benefit of a proactive approach to property security lies in the minimization of liability. If someone breaks into a tenant’s home and injures someone, steals something, or damages property, then you could conceivably be held liable. This is true even if you’re already consistently upholding your specific obligations laid out by Chapter 92.158 of the Texas Property Code.
Like many aspects of liability in residential property, a standard of ‘should have known’ can be applied to security failures; that’s to say, if a judge thinks a responsible landlord should have known about something that needed to be corrected, you can be held liable even if you didn’t know. In the face of such a standard, a proactive approach is your only reliable defense.
2. Keep your schedule organized
Because Texas law stipulates any number of specific security devices you’re obligated to install either by default or at tenant request, taking a proactive approach allows you to control when such installations are made. If you’re instead forced to make adjustments by tenant request, it can upset your schedule, leading to distractions you don’t really need from your other obligations.
If you’ve covered all your bases in advance, you can minimize the number of reasonable requests a tenant might make—both in terms of what they’re likely to request and in terms of what they’re able to request. It’s just easier that way.
3. Appeal to safety-oriented residents
There’s a lot of value in safety, no matter how good your neighborhood may be. There are a ton of ways you stand to gain from the perception that you’re actively concerned with the security of your property.
First and foremost, you’re going to see fewer complaints and negativity from any of your current tenants who care about their safety; one or two fewer headaches from a tenant here and there adds up big time to your productivity.
Secondly, you can leverage such a reputation to secure new tenants easier. Even if you’re not having trouble with vacancies, the added interest can improve your ability to choose reliable long-term tenants that will cause you a minimum of problems. It pays to be popular.
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